Friday, October 16, 2009

Scumbag Blackmailer Follies

Connecticut Judge OKs Release Of Warrants In David Letterman Extortion Case

The Hartford Courant

2:42 p.m. EDT, October 15, 2009



The search warrants for the home of Robert J. "Joe" Halderman, the man accused of trying to extort $2 million from David Letterman, were unsealed Thursday by a Norwalk Superior Court judge.

The warrants were for a search of Halderman's home at 6 Renzulli Road, Norwalk, and his 2006 Honda Accord.

Letterman is not mentioned in the document, but is referred to as a public figure or as "client 1." Some information, including names that might identify victims and what prosecutors called "victims by association" were redacted at the judge's order.

Halderman, a CBS producer with the show 48 Hours, was arrested by New York City authorities on charges that he tried to extort $2 million from Letterman in exchange for turning over to him a "screenplay treatment" and other personal information that would embarrass him.

Among the items police seized, according to the documents, were a New York magazine with an article about Letterman, two copies of a check, Halderman's checkbook and a paycheck, and an agreement between Halderman and a lawyer. Police also seized a letter, photographs, a Bank of America deposit slip, computer, hard drive, printer, camera memory card, CDs, microdisks, a zip drive and a photocopy of IDs.

In the affidavit seeking the search warrant, the detectives lay out the basics of the allegations against Halderman as provided to them by James Jackoway, an attorney for Letterman.

On Sept. 9, Halderman delivered to Letterman's limo driver a package containing a demand letter, the screenplay treatment "and supporting materials, including copies of portions of a diary and personal correspondence. The name of the owner of those items was redacted, but has been reported to be Stephanie Birkitt, a former Letterman employee with whom Halderman lived at the Norwalk home. Her correspondence and diary reportedly detailed her affair with the Late Show host.

In the "demand letter," Halderman allegedly writes that Letterman's "world is about to collapse around him" if the private information is disclosed, according to the warrant. The disclosure will also lead to a "ruined reputation" and severe damage to his career and family life, according to the warrant.

Halderman allegedly wrote that he has "a lot more" documents to support the screenplay treatment, "including more letters, e-mails [redacted] and more photos."

Jackoway then met with Halderman on several occasions, according to the warrant, to work out details of turning over the information in exchange for information. Two of the meetings were recorded by detectives with the Manhattan District's Attorney Office.

Jackoway told the detectives that Letterman "feels threatened, alarmed and concerned about the impact of disclosure of his personal information on his family life and career," according to the search warrant affidavit.

Letterman revealed information about the plot on Oct. 1, the night before Halderman was arraigned in Manhattan on one count of attempted first-degree grand larceny. Halderman posted $200,000 bail.

Prosecutors sought to keep the warrants sealed, contending that disclosure could subject witnesses to media scrutiny and hurt the prosecution. Representatives of The Associated Press and New York Post argued for release of the documents at Thursday's hearing.

An Associated Press report is included in this story.

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